As communities across the country started opening up, and in anticipation of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, advertising agency, d expósito & Partners, launched a public service campaign, called “Lucha vs El Virus.” The campaign was designed to engage the Hispanic community and encourage compliance with public health practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by Mexican professional wrestling (Lucha Libre) and their use of colorful masks to conceal their identity, the campaign seeks to help slow the spread of the virus by encouraging people to wear masks in a way that is eye-catching, fun and interactive but with a very serious message.
d expósito & Partners launched the “Lucha vs Virus” campaign to deliver a singular message that is inspired by Lucha Libre but applies to the COVID-19 pandemic reality: “El que se quita la máscara pierde la lucha” (the one who takes off the mask loses the fight). As part of the campaign, the agency designed three augmented reality (AR) filters in the form of luchador masks, for use on Facebook and Instagram. Users are invited to take photos or videos of themselves using the filters and share on their social media pages to promote the use of masks in public spaces, signaling to their networks that they are staying in the fight against COVID-19. In addition to the filters, advertising PSAs were created in both Spanish and English to deliver the campaign across television, digital and outdoor media channels.
“We played with the double meaning of the Spanish word, lucha, said Paco Olavarrieta, Chief Creative Officer at d expósito & Partners. “On one hand, lucha means to fight or to struggle, and is used figuratively to express that one is ‘working hard’, or ‘continuing in the fight. On the other hand, lucha is embedded in the name, Lucha Libre, where luchadores wear masks to hide their true identity. We saw an opportunity to leverage this cultural insight to remind Hispanics to stay in the fight, que siguen la lucha, and as in Mexican wrestling, the one who loses the mask loses the fight."
Public health data from cities across the U.S. showed that COVID-19 has more severely impacted the African-American and Hispanic communities due to pre-existing health disparities, yet, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute, these same groups were significantly more likely to be deemed as essential workers and far less likely to work from home. Now that economies opening up, with people gathering to protest or visit parks and beaches, these dynamics contribute to the dire importance of the “Lucha vs Virus” PSA campaign to remind everyone to wear their masks.